Skip to content

Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

TTC to reconnect station to its landscape

Read more articles by

The TTC has hired a group including noted Toronto architects Brown + Storey to help re-configure Victoria Park station and re-connect it to the ravine landscape bordering the station. A story about the project in the National Post by‘s Robert Ouellet includes some interesting thoughts on the relationship between landscape and engineering, along with information about the area’s history.

The project will also create better connections between the various buildings, parks and travel routes that exist around the station without, at the moment, really connecting to it:

The public spaces around Victoria Park station — described by Mr. Brown as “mushroom spaces” — are dark and poorly designed. The station “gets a lot of public use at all hours and there hasn’t been a lot of consideration given to the way it connects with the surrounding community,” he says.

“You have a ravine that runs through the area which is both historic and central to the topography of Toronto and you have the infrastructure of the subway system itself,” he comments. “What we want is an improvement between the Victoria station, housing, the parks, the way these areas are lit, safe walkways, proper building frontages, a redesign of bus stations and a more clearly defined relationship between all of these elements.”

It’s an important initiative. Many parts of Toronto suffer from this lack of connection between buildings, parks, travel routes and public destinations within a local area. It shows just how important public spaces are to binding a neighbourhood together, and how much they have been neglected in development and city planning. It is one of the biggest discouragements to walking as a form of travel — the ways of getting where one might want to go are neither convenient nor pleasant. Now, if only the same overhaul could be done across the whole city … but at least it’s a start.